Sahel region: EU hosts high level conference to strengthen international support
21/02/2018 - 16:05
On 23 February 2018, the European Commission is hosting the International High Level Conference on the Sahel in Brussels to strengthen international support for the Sahel region.
The Sahel region faces a number of pressing challenges such as extreme poverty, frequent food and nutrition crises, conflict, irregular migration and related crimes such as human trafficking and migrant smuggling. Violent extremism also poses a serious security challenge to the region and has potential spill-over effects outside the region, including Europe.
EU has supported the "G5 Sahel" group composed of Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger, since it was set up in 2014, to foster close cooperation in the region. Since then, the EU has stepped up cooperation with this African-led initiative to build a strong partnership on many fronts: from political dialogue, to development and humanitarian support, to strengthening security and tackling irregular migration.
The EU supports concrete regional-led security initiatives. The EU has already provided an initial €50 million to establish the African led G5 Sahel Joint Force which aims to improve regional security and fight terrorist groups. The EU is itself a key security player in the region, with its 3 active Common Security and Defence Policy missions; EUCAP Sahel Niger, EUCAP Sahel Mali, EU training mission (EUTM) in Mali.
Photo credit: AFP / Nicolas Thibaut / Photononstop